Brooklyn Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte has described as “a low blow” recent comments made by former New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Raymond Kelly that the department, now under new leadership, is engaged in falsifying crime statistics.
Kelly claimed that the lower crime rates reported by the de Blasio administration have “some issues.”
“In fact, New York is becoming a safer place to live because of our current Mayor and our current Police Commissioner [William J. Bratton],” said Bichotte, the first ever Haitian American from New York City to be elected to the State Legislature, in a Caribbean Life interview.
“I applaud the current administration’s efforts to lower crime,” added the representative for the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. “Such comments by former Commissioner Kelly are a low blow to our police officers who make our streets safe.”
Bichotte said the Mayor’s report that crime was lower by 4 percent this past year “is a statistic that I feel personally as a NYC resident.
“The fact that the unconstitutional use of stop, question and frisk is down, along with overall crime is something to celebrate,” she said. “Also, while I am not intimately familiar with the data, I am confident in the Mayor’s integrity, and stand by him.”
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, a former NYPD sergeant, said it was “patently offensive” for Kelly to suggest that the NYPD is in any way involved with falsifying crime statistics.
“The fact that there is no proof to this spurious charge is fitting with his history of lobbing rhetorical bombs behind the shade of tabloid covers, while falling silent under the scrutiny of truth,” said an outraged Adams.
During the Floyd trial, Adams said Kelly had a chance to testify under oath, “in front of the world, in response to his regime’s use of stop and frisk.
“Instead, he ducked,” said Adams, adding that “the evidence shows that when Ray Kelly had the chance to back up his media bloviating, he didn’t take it.”
Consequently, Adams said Kelly’s decisions “led to a federal monitor and necessitated the reforms, which are turning policing in this city around, creating fairer policing while continuing to drive down criminal activity.
“Ray Kelly is trying to sell a narrative full of the same falsehoods he has peddled for more than a decade, regardless of whether it is for economic, ego-driven or political purposes,” Adams said.
“Whatever the reason, New Yorkers have no reason to buy what he is selling,” the borough president added. “It is time to move forward and focus on the hard work of making this city an even safer place for our children and families.”
Former New York City Councilmember Dr. Una Clarke, who had served with de Blasio in the City Council, said that “Kelly has already done his time,” adding that he should not meddle in the internal affairs of the current NYPD administration.
“He should not try to run the NYPD, because he is not part of the department,” the outspoken Clarke also told Caribbean Life. “Bratton had set up COMSTAT in his first term as police commissioner], and Kelly came and used the same metric. Now, crime has gone down.
“He [Kelly] and community leaders should work with the NYPD to continue to drive down crime,” she added. “When somebody [Mayor de Blasio] has a sense of humanity, nobody wants it.”
Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams said if Kelly has issues with the crime statistics, he should take them to the inspector general or the City Council.
“The fact that he did it that way [publicly], you wonder about his motive,” said Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn. “And he [Kelly] had similar complaints during his tenure.”
Last week, Bratton and Kelly opened a war of words over the authenticity of the NYPD’s official tally of shootings and murders, with Bratton challenging Kelly to prove his claim that the department was manipulating the numbers to make it appear that New York is safer than it actually is.
“Shame on him,” Bratton told reporters. “Let him back up that accusation. “If you’re going to make it, stand up, be a big man, and explain what you’re talking about.”
But Kelly said he only wanted to raise an issue that was brought to his attention by “several people” currently in the NYPD, who, he claimed, are concerned.
“I said nothing about him,” Kelly told reporters, referring to Bratton. “It was a statement about the numbers being uncertain.”
According to NYPD statistics, there were 1,125 shootings as of Sunday, down from 1,156 recorded over the corresponding period the year before.
The city has had a slight increase in murders, to 340 as of Sunday, but is still near the low of 333 recorded at the end of last year, according to the New York Times.
On Tuesday, Kelly again said that the murder numbers were suspect, suggesting that the category of “circumstances undetermined pending investigation” was being misapplied, according to the Times.
“He’s making claims that are not accurate or that, in many cases, are not any different from how they were measured in his administration,” said NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis.